For the most part, the general public, including your friends and family, will not know that you filed for bankruptcy unless you tell them.
However, there are a few parties that must find out as part of the process.
Who receives notice of your filing for bankruptcy?
When you file for bankruptcy, a few people will unavoidably learn about it. For obvious reasons, any creditor to whom you owe money receives notice from the court. Additionally, all personnel working in the court will learn of it as well. However, keep in mind that these people see hundreds of bankruptcy cases per year. Unless they know someone personally, they pay no mind to the names on the docket.
In the age of social media, it may be worrisome to consider your bankruptcy making the rounds on Facebook or other social media sites. However, this is not the case.
Will your employer find out?
Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, your employer may find out. For example, should you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have a payment plan. You may also have payments coming directly from your paycheck. In which case, your employer could see it on the payroll.
Is it public record?
Anyone can search public records to see who filed for bankruptcy. However, the likelihood that someone would do that without reason is very low. Unless you lead a very public life, having a bankruptcy on your public record will likely never be a concern.
Keep in mind that filing for bankruptcy no longer carries the stigma that it once did. You do not have to make a major proclamation or feel shame for needing help to start over. This financial tool allows people to have a fresh start with their financial lives.